Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble



Posted Saturday, March 19, 2022 by PA

Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble

Pep Guardiola has acknowledged Manchester City are in the chase for the treble – but continues to play down the prospect.

The leaders are firmly in contention for the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup this season.

Winning those three trophies is a feat achieved by only one side previously, by rivals Manchester United in 1999.

Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble
Pep Guardiola has distanced himself from talk of Manchester City winning the treble (Martin Rickett/PA)

City boss Guardiola usually refuses to discuss his side’s chances of winning any trophy – let alone emulating United’s accomplishment – but he does now concede it is a possibility, albeit a difficult one.

“If United did it once, then it happened and someone else can do it,” said Guardiola at a press conference on Friday.

“When you break a record or something it is because someone has done it before.

Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble
City won the FA Cup as part of a domestic treble in 2019 (Mike Egerton/PA)

“So when it happens, another team can do it. It would not be easy but you can do it, of course.

“In September, October, November it is more difficult but when there are two months left and still you can be there to win the titles, yes it’s possible.

“On the other hand, it’s happened (only) once in a lifetime so that shows how difficult it is!”

Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble
City were held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace (Adam Davy/PA)

After drawing at Crystal Palace on Monday, City saw their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to one point by Liverpool this week.

Guardiola said: “In the Premier League we are leading right now. Destiny is in our hands.

“After we come back from the international break, nine games of Premier League.

“I think everyone knows what we have to do. It’s a marvellous challenge, we’ll be there to face them.”

Pep Guardiola tries to play down talk of Manchester City winning the treble
Guardiola will prepare his side to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League (Mike Egerton/PA)

City also learned their opponents for the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Friday as they were paired with Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

“It would have been difficult whoever we got in the last eight,” said Guardiola. “It’s a nice stadium with incredible supporters and we will try to reach the semi-final.

“Hopefully they are worried about playing against us.”

City have another quarter-final to play on Sunday as they travel to Southampton in the FA Cup and Guardiola insists he does not regard that competition as the poorer relation.

He said: “How can you ask me this? We’ve shown in these six years we play every game like it’s the last game of our lives.

“We respect a lot the FA Cup. It’s great. We know how difficult it will be away at Southampton but I trust my players a lot.”

Guardiola refused to be drawn on renewed speculation this week linking City with a summer move for Borussia Dortmund’s star striker Erling Haaland.

He said: “Since I’ve been here, every month or two people say we are going to sign 50 players. Right now it’s impossible that I am going to talk about some guy who is not here. He’s a Dortmund player. At the end of the season it is the transfer window and many things are going to happen.”

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